ISLAMABAD – A 12-member Pakistani university delegation arrived in the United States to begin a 10-day U.S. study tour organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP).
The delegation is composed of representatives from Pakistani universities interested in creating technology transfer offices (TTOs) and technology incubators (TIs) on their local campuses. The CLDP is a program run by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of the General Counsel, which provides technical assistance to governments and private sector leaders in countries around the world in support of economic development goals. Officials from Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission (HEC) will accompany the delegation, since the HEC has plans to facilitate the development of TTOs and TIs in select Pakistani universities.
The program will begin with meetings in Washington, D.C., at the CLDP and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Delegates will visit a technology incubator, a prominent medical research institute, and an open-fabrication and prototyping studio. The delegation will then travel to Denver, Colorado, to participate in an Association of University Technology Managers course on Technology Operations and Organization Licensing Skills. For their final stop, participants will visit Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, to observe the practices, policies, and procedures of the university’s successful technology transfer office. As a result of the program, delegates will return to Pakistan equipped with knowledge of best practices for establishing and operating TTOs and TIs.
Together with U.S. Embassy Islamabad and the USPTO, CLDP has worked over the years to help strengthen Pakistan’s intellectual property protection regime. Since 2010, CLDP has worked with HEC and select Pakistani universities to help establish technology transfer offices and incubators that will help commercialize university-based research in order to create information technology jobs in Pakistan. CLDP and USPTO have worked with the Supreme Court of Pakistan to place Pakistani jurists in a better position to decide IP cases in a fair and consistent manner. CLDP has also worked with the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (IPO) to update Pakistan’s IP laws. Together with the U.S. Embassy Islamabad, CLDP and IPO have conducted a series of IP roundtables bringing together government, academic, and private sector officials who can play a role in strengthening Pakistan’s IP regime.